CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tore into MyPillow founder Mike Lindell on Tuesday in an absolutely off-the-rails interview, repeatedly calling the pro-Trump businessman a “snake oil salesman” for peddling an unproven and potentially dangerous supplement as a “miracle” cure for the coronavirus.
Lindell, best known for his ubiquitous ads on Fox News and over-the-top Trump sycophancy, was brought on to discuss the extract he promoted to President Donald Trump recently as a COVID-19 cure.
In a July meeting, Lindell and HUD Secretary Ben Carson sold Trump on an extract from the plant oleander, which is highly toxic. Lindell has said Trump was “enthusiastic” about the extract and wanted the FDA to approve it.
Cooper kicked off the highly combative and at-times unhinged discussion by noting that Lindell not only has no medical or scientific background but that the pillow manufacturer also has a financial stake in a company that would profit from the supplement being widely sold.
“Morally, is that right?” Cooper wondered aloud, prompting Lindell to claim that studies have shown the supplement’s efficacy and “the FDA’s got them all.”
“Why aren’t they publicly out there? Why aren’t they peer-reviewed?” Cooper pressed.
Lindell, meanwhile, acknowledged that while he’s not a doctor, he has had his own “study” done on a thousand people that shows it’s perfectly safe, adding that it’s “the miracle of all time.”
The conversation quickly broke down from there as the CNN anchor repeatedly pointed out that Lindell is not an expert and that he cannot cite any legitimate studies on the extract’s benefits.
“You have no medical background,” Cooper exclaimed as Lindell objected. “You are not a scientist. A guy called in April saying he had this product. You are now on the board and going to make money from the sale of this product.”
“The reason he reached out to you is because you have the ear of the president and could get a meeting with the president and you stand to make money from it,” the veteran newsman added. “How do you sleep at night?!”
Lindell, meanwhile, claimed that Cooper had “misconstrued” the facts because the media is “trying to take away this amazing cure” from the American people, eventually resulting in the CNN host calling out Lindell’s shady past.
“How are you different than a snake oil salesman?” Cooper shouted. “No medical background. No research. Not tested in animals or humans.”
Cooper then brought up Lindell’s F-rating with the Better Business Bureau and how the MyPillow boss agreed to settle for a million dollars over deceptive marketing and false claims about his products.
“That’s not a great track record for honesty, sir,” Cooper snarked.
Lindell, meanwhile, insisted he only had a poor BBB rating and was hit with lawsuits because of his passionate support for Trump. When Cooper called him a “snake oil salesman” again, Lindell reacted by saying he does “what Jesus has me do.”
“Jesus wants you promoting remedies that are never tested?” Cooper shot back.
“Ask yourself, why would I ruin my reputation?” Lindell countered.
“Money,” the anchor replied. “You don’t have a great reputation.”
For the next 15-plus minutes, the two would go continue to go back and forth in the same manner, eventually ending with Cooper reiterating for his viewers Lindell’s lack of credentials and shyster background.
“Just in summation, you have no medical background,” Cooper said. “You have no scientific background at all. You have a financial stake in this company. You don’t know—you can’t give any details about an alleged study of 1,000 people that you allegedly have read but you remember nothing about it, not one single detail other than 1,000 people.”
“This has not been tested anywhere outside one lab in a test tube,” he continued. “Never been tested in animals, never peer reviewed, studied, published— studied in people, never studied against COVID-19, no peer reviewed, no published studies and yet you say this is the cure for COVID... And you have a history of running ads that you have had to make massive settlements for because they were deceptive testimonials.”
Lindell, meanwhile, insisted again that the supplement has passed two phases of studies and the FDA has the results before praising Trump as “the greatest president the country has ever seen.” He went on to claim “this isn't a political thing or a money thing” for him, prompting Cooper to get a final word in.
“Right. Your track record says otherwise,” the anchor huffed.